Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Barbarians in History, 376-1066: Skills and Sources
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars + office hours to discuss presentations, individual essays and project planning tutorials.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment oral assessment  20%
Semester Assessment short essay (1,500 words)  20%
Semester Assessment project (5,000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment supplementary (resit) oral assessment  20%
Supplementary Assessment supplementary (resit) short essay (1,500 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment supplementary (resit) project (5,000 words)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Display an understanding of the strengths and limitations of a variety of textual, material and visual sources and anthropological approaches.

Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and difficulties of inter-disciplinary work.

Show a good grasp of the major secondary debates concerning the value and meaning of the primary evidence for the barbarian migrations and their impact.

Work independently to present and sustain arguments in oral and written work based on a critical understanding of a wide range of sources.

Brief description

This module will explore the primary evidence for the study of barbarian migrations and their social, political, economic and cultural impact throughout continental Europe in the early medieval period. It will examine a range of textual sources, written by the barbarian groups themselves and by the communities affected by barbarian migrations and invasions. Archaeological evidence for the settlement patterns and material culture of barbarian groups will also be examined, as well as anthropological approaches used by modern scholars to fill in the gaps left by the patchy textual and material evidence. Students will also be introduced to modern debates concerning the usage and meanings of these various sources and approaches. This introduction to interdisciplinarity in early medieval European history will stress the need to understand different sources of evidence on their own terms before comparing and contrasting them.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed through seminars and feedback on written work. These skills will be assessed through assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Written work will be returned in tutorials where advice will be given regarding the improvement of research and techniques and essay writing skills.
Information Technology Through the retrieval of primary and secondary works from online resources and AberLearn Blackboard and through the writing, formatting and printing of essays.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will develop oral and written skills. It will also prepare students for careers which involve the research, critical analysis and presentation of material relevant to a particular problem or set of problems.
Problem solving Finding relevant primary and secondary materials online and in the library on which to base written and oral work.
Research skills Students will be required to carry out research for seminars and written work.
Subject Specific Skills This module will require students to not only analyse in detail textual sources, but to appreciate the historical value of archaeological and visual evidence and anthropological approaches.
Team work Through seminar activities, including seminar leading with another student.


This module is at CQFW Level 6